Lyrick Studios

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Captures by
Hb1290

Editions by
Dexter's Mom

Video captures courtesy of
Broken Saw, FailBob2000

Background

Lyrick Studios was a video production and distributing company founded in 1994, best known for their production and distribution of children's programs like Barney & Friends and Wishbone. It was formed by the same people who founded The Lyons Group, which became an in-name-only subsidiary of Lyrick. In 2001, the company was acquired and folded into British company HIT Entertainment for $275 million; the remaining Texas office was still open for production of Barney & Friends, but they released nothing up until its folding due to arguments from PolyGram over Barney's Great Adventure (the film was released theatrically instead of straight-to-video, thus making it not part of PolyGram's picture deal). Today, Lyrick Studios' properties belong to Mattel Creations except for VeggieTales (which is currently distributed by DreamWorks Classics), Groundling Marsh (currently owned by Portfolio Entertainment and FilmRise) and Bob the Builder (currently owned by WildBrain).

1st Logo (March 11, 1997-March 31, 1998, March 28, 2000)

Logo: On a white background, six black letters fly into the screen overlapping each other. The letters then settle in place, revealing the word "Lyrick" with various colors highlighting the letters' overlapping (blue, yellow, red, green, purple, and orange). After they have flown in place, a blue dot flies out and dots the "I", and the word "STUDIOS" rotates letter-by-letter on the bottom-right of "Lyrick", with a line above "STUDIOS".

Variants:

  • On some tapes from the company, "Distributed by" wipes in above the logo as the letters fly in. There's also a still version of this logo.
  • There is a rare early variant of this logo where the logo is taller and skinnier, it doesn't have the shadow effect, "Studios" is in a different font, the words "Distributed by" are yellow and there is a bigger space between "Distributed by" and "Lyrick Studios". This variant is still. There is also a version of this variant without "Distributed By", which is seen at the end of the tape. This version can be seen on Joe Scruggs: Live From Deep In The Jungle, Joe Scruggs: Joe TV, the first 2 Francesco's Friendly World tapes, Barney's Musical Scrapbook, and some others.
  • There is another early variant where the logo is zoomed closer to the screen and "Distributed by" is yellow. This can only be seen on the tapes of Vatican 2: The Faithful Revolution, a non-children's release. Again, the version without "Distributed by" can be seen at the end of the tape.
  • There is yet another still variant that's very close to the finished logo, only lacking any shadows, the Distributed by is in a different, more generic font.

Technique: The six flying letters and the "dot-the-I" sequence to form the company's name.

Music/Sounds: An electronic keyboard arpeggio and low synth note plays throughout the logo, with 3 low-pitched violin notes as the "dot-the-I" sequence plays, followed by a rising xylophone and a violin stinger. This jingle was composed by Bob Singleton.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The "Distributed By" variant features only 2 low pitched notes for the "dot-the-I" sequence. Ringing bells can be heard when the "Distributed by" and "STUDIOS" text appears and during the "dot-the-I" sequence, and finally the tune ends on a piano note and a slightly different stinger. In some exceptionally rare cases, like the screener VHS of Barney: It's Time for Counting!, it uses the standard music.
  • On the 1998 VHS release of Barney & Friends: Down on Barney's Farm, the "Distributed by" music is used on the regular version of the logo, but the ringing bells are only heard once, since the words "Distributed by" aren't there.
  • The still version is silent.

Availability: Uncommon. This logo was only used for a year, and was limited to tapes of Barney & Friends, VeggieTales, Wishbone, Kids for Character, Joe Scruggs, and Francesco's Friendly World. Most of these videos from this time period are long out of print and are hard to find (particularly the last two, since they're quite obscure). However, tapes of Barney & Friends and VeggieTales are the least scarce of the the bunch, so those tapes are your best bet to find this logo. The still version made a surprise appearance on the 2000 releases of Where's God When I'm Scared!?!, God Wants Me To Forgive Them?!, Are You My Neighbor?, Rack, Shack, and Benny, and Dave and the Giant Pickle from VeggieTales.

2nd Logo (March 27, 1998-August 14, 2001)

Logo: We fade into a view of a lake, which is surrounded by a forest at twilight. The sun is setting. On that lake, a silhouette of a coot is seen swimming from right to left on the bottom of the screen. Once it is far enough on the bottom left of the screen, the camera then begins to pan into the night sky, which is filled with stars. A child's hand, which has the index finger extended, touches the sky, causing ripples to appear. As the ripples fade away, the word "Lyrick" (in the same font as before, but with fatter letters) slowly zooms in and settles in the middle of the screen. The word shines as the word "STUDIOS" and its line, along with a Trademark symbol, fade in.

Variants:

  • Some VeggieTales tapes from 1998-1999 have the text "Distributed by" in white bold Arial Black font on a black background before the logo animates. This is regularly seen at the beginning and end of the tapes. This variant is also found on Groundling Marsh VHS tapes, Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends VHS tapes, and Barney Classic Collection releases from 1998-1999. This variant surprisingly appeared on the screener VHS of Bob the Builder: To the Rescue!.
  • There's an early variation with less stars in the night sky, rough animation, longer panning up in the sky until the hand comes, a redder sunset, and a different forest design. The sleeve on the child's arm can't be seen. This appeared on the film Barney's Great Adventure.
  • An open matte version of the Barney's Great Adventure variant exists with a turquoise/dark blue gradient starry sky and the "Lyrick Studios" text being off-centered.
  • There is a still version of the 1999-2001 "Distributed by" version of the logo.
  • Another variation has the logo with the camera panning it up more and a white "Distributed by" byline above the logo after it is formed. This variant appears on most VeggieTales tapes from 1999-2001, The Wiggles, some Barney & Friends tapes from 1999-2000, Bob the Builder, and Kipper.
  • There is a rare variant with the words "Distributed by" on a black background in white Arial font before the logo animates. This appeared on an alternate print of The Wiggles: Yummy Yummy. The proof can be seen here.

Technique: The coot scene and the hand poking the sky like water in a mix of live action and computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic fanfare, which is accompanied by the sounds of the coot (not actual sounds a coot makes). It is soft when the silhouette of the coot is swimming, but then it gets louder as the camera starts panning upward. A cymbal crash is heard when the child's hand touches the sky. After that, the rest of the logo is fixed at the loudest volume that is reached. Synthesized dings are heard when the text shines.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the early variant, the cymbal crash comes a little late.
  • Like the previous logo, the still variant is silent.

Availability: Fairly common. Preserved on most VeggieTales and Barney & Friends tapes from the period distributed by the company. Also seen on all Wishbone tapes made after 1997, when Lyrick Studios began distributing the videos, taking over from PolyGram Video. Can also be seen on most Wiggles tapes from the period, as well as a few early DVD releases like More Barney Songs. The early variant exclusively appears on the 1998 family film Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie, which is the first piece of media to use the logo. One of the last releases to use this logo was the 2001 VHS print of Wiggly Play Time. Since 1999, the still version of the logo is more common than the usual logo. This logo has allegedly appeared on some prints of the 2003 film The Wiggles: Magical Adventure! A Wiggly Movie, but most copies use the HIT logo.

Final Note

On February 9, 2001, British television company HIT Entertainment acquired Lyrick Studios. HIT kept the Texas office of Lyrick open for production of Barney & Friends. As a result of the HIT buyout, they released nothing up to its shutdown in 2002, due to arguments from PolyGram over Barney's Great Adventure being released theatrically instead of DtV (and thus not part of PolyGram's picture deal). Today, Lyrick Studios' properties belong to HIT Entertainment (later Mattel Creations) except for VeggieTales, which is currently owned by NBCUniversal on behalf of DreamWorks Animation.

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